Day 5! 16 km day of hiking, an average day on any other trail this would seem not too bad, The WCT= longest day on the trail!
I woke up early after maybe the worse sleep of all on the trail, too cold to fall asleep, then fell asleep to have the wind wake me up on and off. Is this night over yet?
Tired, grumpy and coughing from the cold my daughter shared with me prior to leaving the trail I was up at 7 am which was really sleeping in on this trail. Tearing down camp in the morning the wind blew in one of the most clear stellar mornings yet. While enjoying our coffee and oatmeal (I'm done with oatmeal for a while after this trip!) we just finished saying how neat it would be to see some whales yet to complete our trip.
Imagine, as though our thoughts were heard there appeared whales spouting right in front of our camp while we sipped on our coffee. It was one of those moments I will remember forever as a highlight of life.
With low tides to our advantage we headed out along the tidal rock shelf that was teeming with sea life.
As we hiked over boulders in some spots and beach walked on others we arrived at a huge cliff face that had a rope on it to lower yourself down or the sane option of taking the inland trail for 500 ft via ladders. We opted for the ladders and made our way around back to the beach and some easier hard packed sand walking. After what seemed like forever we finally stopped for a break on the beach.
Not sure how much farther we had left to go until Nitnat Narrows and the crab shack we enjoyed a little longer break. While eating our gummies, chips and Clif Bars we spotted something in the water really close to shore that looked like a moving boulder. It was a grey whale with her calf rubbing on the barnacles 50 ft from shore....WOW!
Although really hard to capture on film, the dark line in the water so close to the beach is a whale. We watched her for half an hour until we had to move on. Even the guiding group that was leap frogging with us on the hike took pictures and marvelled at the sight remarking that it is rare to see this behaviour so close. To us it was magical, to really comprehend what we just watched. Sometimes this trip just seemed to line up so perfectly it seemed as though we were being guided by angels watching over us.
Nearly to the half way point in mileage here we were still in awe of the gigantic trees everywhere, I am hanging off a branch of this tree and look like a dwarf! This picture was just after we crossed the Cheewat River (or river of urine) yum, it's mineral content is so high that on this stretch of hiking we did not have access to fresh water for 14 km of the hike. We stocked up before we left camp which made our packs heavier for sure!
After another hour of hiking we arrived at Nitnat Narrows, a pleasant stop with a patio restaurant that serves crab, halibut and salmon all freshly caught that day. Oh, yum!! This drylander was happy to experience fresh seafood and a baked potato.
It was another great place to visit with hikers headed out the opposite direction and hear stories of the hike, this point in the trail is one of the few places you can "cut" short by hiring the people of the Narrows to haul you 21 km upstream to their town where you can get a ride back to civilization at that point. People who are short on time or just want to experience half the trail do this quite often.
It is so neat to watch a business formed from simply having hikers in the middle of nowhere who will pay nearly anything for good food! Although in my mind $20 for food that is fresh is cheap when in a restaurant at home you would pay $40 for frozen seafood. I was amazed to watch from the dock all the fingerling salmon and shiner perch that would eat the crab leftovers, all new species to observe.
After our lunch which included fresh garden radishes, watermelon and a Campino candy from Hippie Doug the ferry operator we headed back on our way after we safely crossed the Narrows!
Fed, watered and ready for the difficult draining beach walking that was ahead along with a hotter day. Again we headed out aware that high tides may effect our hiking but we were ready to tough it out by tanning on the beach if need be! Coming up was The Hole In The Wall and Tsusiat Falls our final destination.
After a long hike in the bush trail which we throughroughly enjoyed being out of the sun and heat in we popped out onto the beach and into DEEP sand. It felt like you were standing still moving...ugh! Thank goodness we knew great views were ahead to keep us going.
The Hole In The Wall did not disappoint, it was a very cool rock structure wore out by the ocean and had seals right beside it on their sunning rock. The map states that you can't get through the wall if the tides are too high but yet again the tides weren't too high to get through so after a quick water/food break we headed out again with only a mile left to our final camp for the night!
We arrived in camp at 5:30 pm it was the trails most popular campsite but it is so large you don't notice how many people are there! It was finally hot out with no wind and we were dirty from five days of hiking and no shower. Set up the tent fast, shut it to make it really hot inside and throw off your stuff to enjoy a hair washing and shower in the falls.
Oh, being clean felt so good!
After cleaning up we meandered over to the outhouse, I had been pre-warned it was hard to find but it was over a 1/3 of a mile from our camp due to tides washing out the beach near it! Not only that you had to leap, catwalk on giant driftwood and use a rope to climb a mini cliff to ascend towards the outhouse. It was a plan before you have to go kinda hike to the toilet!
Cozy, dry and ready for bed we had our smaller supper later on because we had enjoyed such a feast earlier then sat around the campfire enjoying good company and more amazing sunsets. This blog has seemed so long but so much happened in one day that it was really in my mind the best day of all (for real this time!). Second last day coming up tomorrow and our last night on the trail...happy/sad emotions all at once. Missing my family a bit finally and wishing they could share this beauty as well. It really is life changing being out on this trail.
I Live Life Now,